Going Global with Facebook
The Facebook is cool and if we start installing pop-ups for Mountain Dew it’s not gonna be cool…
Those of us who have been working with Facebook for years had a good chuckle when these words came flying out of the celluloid Mark Zuckerberg character in The Social Network. Rightfully, or wrongfully, the people at Facebook have notoriously been described as “indifferent” to marketers and their needs. If you actually think about it, why wouldn’t they be? The product innovators at Facebook were focusing their efforts on making the best product they could. They weren’t focusing on things that made brand page administrators happy.
Flash forward to today. Facebook’s growth is slowing. Their stock value is tumbling. Facebook is thinking not just about what is cool, but how they are going to make money and please shareholders. Over the past few months, Facebook has been bending over backwards to ensure that marketers aren’t forgetting their platform. Whether it is the launch of mobile app install ads or the launch of Facebook Exchange (their advertising auction platform), there is a realization that part of the answer to falling stock prices is going to be a partnership with Madison Avenue.
To that end, the latest announcement from Facebook is the launch of Global Pages. Brands who market their wares internationally will now have the ability to customize the experience for their users based on their fans’ IP addresses. According to Facebook Product Manager Kelly Winters,
Facebook users will be directed to the best version of a Page based on the country those users are in, enabling them to see localized cover photos, profile photos, Page apps, milestones, “about” information, and news feed stories from Pages—all while remaining part of the global brand community.
For those of us attempting to find solutions to international challenges in social media marketing, this product is one that we’ve been salivating for. The combination of the global pages feature and a robust content management system will allow page administrators to effectively use their time; we will be able to manage multiple pages and distribute content with the touch of a button.
I won’t lie to you and say that this is going to work perfectly, but this change of thinking represents a level of customization that brands have been looking for. While this may start with country segmentation, the logical extension of this will be at the state and city level, ultimately allowing retailers to create a customized Facebook experience based on the brick and mortar location closest to their customers.
So, what does this mean for brands? This change won’t impact every brand’s strategy; however, if you manage presences in multiple countries, there will be a need to rethink how you operationalize community management. Now more than ever, a social media content management system should be considered to help simplify and maximize your efforts. Finally, for the brands that haven’t thought about their global social presence, it’s time not to think about your consumers globally, but to determine how to be relevant at a hyper-local scale. These changes provide you the opportunity to make your content even more valuable to your consumers.
Now, isn’t that cool?